California voters are sharply divided in their support for a controversial new Arizona anti-illegal immigration law that is set to take effect July 29. The results of a Field Poll released July 16 show a 49-45 percent split among California registered voters, with nearly half in favor of the law. Among other things the Arizona measure, known as SB 1070, empowers local law enforcement to check for immigration status; several lawsuits have been filed challenging the law, including a U.S. Department of Justice complaintchallenging it on constitutional grounds.
According to the California poll, voter division on SB 1070 falls largely along partisan and ethnic lines: 77 percent of Republicans polled approve, 62 percent of Democrats polled disapprove; white non-Hispanic voters are most supportive of the law (58 percent approve, 37 percent disapprove), followed by African- Americans (53 percent approve, 39 percent disapprove). By contrast, 71 percent Latino voters polled disapprove, with only 24 percent expressing support. Asian-American voters were divided, with 50 percent in favor and 43 percent not.
Native-born voters polled approve of the law 54 percent to 42 percent, while foreign-born voters oppose it 67 percent to 28 percent, more than a two to one margin. More California poll results can be found on the Field Research Corp. website.